Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks and Menominee City Police Chief Brett Botbyl joined one of the U.P.’s state lawmakers in testifying before the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday.
They joined State Representative Ed McBroom of Vulcan to testify in support of House Bill 4889. McBroom sponsored the bill, which would strengthen penalties for transporting illegal drugs across state lines.
McBroom says an increased amount of illegal drugs crossing over Michigan’s border prompted the bill, and the increase was initially recognized by Menominee-area police agencies.
The bill doesn’t set the increased penalties directly for a person convicted of a controlled substance offense, but it adds points to the sentencing guideline if the offender travelled from another state to Michigan with the intent to deliver illegal drugs.
McBroom says the extra points could result in county jail time instead of probation, prison time instead of jail time and longer minimum prison sentences before parole eligibility, depending on the offense magnitude and the offender’s prior convictions.
Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 narcotics are covered by the bill. Cocaine, meth, ecstasy, bath salts and the date rape drug GHB are among the many substances in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Michigan Public Health Code.
House Bill 4889 remains before the House Criminal Justice Committee for consideration.